Can improved health really be that simple?
It’s all about making small changes in your daily activities and deciding what healthier steps you are motivated to start taking today.
Helping patients live healthier lives has been a passion of mine throughout my 40+ years of weight management practice.
That’s why I take a detailed history to find out where in my patients’ daily schedules they can start doing things a little differently.
I encourage patients to start small to build confidence and then add additional steps from there.
If you only have 5 minutes, here are some small steps you can start taking TODAY to improve your health:
1-Take a 5-Minute Walk after Eating
A new study in Sports Medicine showed that just 2-5 minutes of light walking within 60-90 minutes of eating a meal had a significant impact on moderating blood sugar levels.
Standing rather than sitting after a meal even had small benefits.
Indoors or outdoors, at home or the office, make a plan to stand and walk around after eating.
With time, you can advance to building more ‘exercise snacks’ into your daily routine.
2- Call a Friend
Socialization is an important part of health as it contributes to one’s happiness and well-being.
But staying connected with others is not always easy.
In my practice, I encourage my patients to build a social support network of likeminded individuals who share interests in living a healthier lifestyle.
You can take a walk together, laugh and de-stress or share your latest healthy recipes.
Got a few minutes to spare in the middle of the day? If so, you can call, text or email a friend or family member.
This simple activity can lift your spirits and help to nurture your relationships and feelings of well-being.
3-Add a Fruit or Vegetable to Your Meal or Snack
We know that most people do not get the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables.
And yet plant-based foods help lower your risks of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and some forms of cancer.
To make this easier, it’s helpful when these good-for-you foods are grab-and-go.
That’s why in my book, Six Factors to Fit: Weight Loss that Works for You!, we have a list of convenience-based, grab-and-go snack foods as well as tasty, healthy meal ideas you can whip up faster than picking up take out.
It all starts with planning ahead so these foods make it into your shopping cart, home and then added as part of your daily meal or snack routine.
Small lifestyle changes add up over time. One good habit often begets another.
Here’s to enjoying your health!
Robert Kushner, MD